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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

Here the ram received him and pushed him off the loft again


Then the seven old animals climbed down from one another, stepped into the house, and satisfied themselves with the delicious food.

But when they had finished, there still remained a great deal of food, too much to take with them on their remaining journey, and so together they contrived a plan to hold their position until the next day after breakfast.

The dog said, "See here, I am accustomed to watch at the front door of my master's house," and thereupon flopped himself down to sleep; the bull said, "I go behind the door," and there he took his position; the ram said, "I will go up on to the loft"; the donkey, "I at the middle door"; the cat, "I in the fireplace"; the goose, "I in the back door"; and the cock said, "I am going to sleep on the bed."

The captain of the robbers after a while sent one of his men back to see if these creatures had yet left the house.

The man came very cautiously into the neighborhood, listened and listened, but he heard nothing; he peeped through the window, and saw in the grate just two coals still glimmering, and thereupon started to walk through the front door.

There the old dog seized him by the leg. He jumped into the house, but the bull was ready, swept him up with his horns, and tossed him on to the loft. Here the ram received him and pushed him off the loft again. Reaching ground, he made for the middle door, but the donkey set up a terrible braying and at the same time gave him a kick that landed him in the fireplace, where the cat flew at him and scratched him nearly to pieces. He then jumped out through the back door, and here the goose got him by the trousers. When he was some distance away the cock crowed. He thereupon ran so that you could hear the stones rattle in the dark.

Purple and crimson and out of breath, he came back to his companions.

"Frightful, frightful!" was all that they could get from him at first, but after a while he told them.

"When I looked through the window I saw in the fireplace two bright coals shining, and when I wanted to go through the front door to go and look, I stepped into an iron trap. I jumped into the house, and there some one seized me with a fork and pitched me up on to the loft, there again some one was ready, and threw me down on all fours. I wanted to fly through the middle door, but there some one blew on a trumpet, and smote me with a sledge hammer so that I did not know where I landed; but coming to very quickly, I found I was in the fireplace, and there another flew at me and scratched the eyes almost out of my head. I thereupon fled out of the back door, and lastly I was attacked on the leg by the sixth with a pair of fire tongs, and when I was still running away, some one shouted out of the house, 'Stop him, stop h--i--m!'"

THE LION AND JACKAL

Not because he was exactly the most capable or progressive fellow in the neighborhood, but because he always gave that idea--that is why Jackal slowly acquired among the neighbors the name of a "progressive man." The truly well-bred people around him, who did not wish to hurt his feelings, seemed to apply this name to him, instead of, for instance, "cunning scamp," or "all-wise rat-trap," as so many others often dubbed him. He obtained this name of "a progressive man" because he spoke most of the time English, especially if he thought some of them were present who could not understand it, and also because he could always hold his body so much like a judge on public occasions.


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